Sales of Provence rosé exploded last year as consumers became enthused by the mouth-watering – and versatile – liaisons its drier versions strike up with food.
Encouragingly, consumers also appear ready to spend slightly more per bottle on quality examples of the so-called “posh pink” – dearer, drier and more delicately coloured versions. Under-25s seem especially attracted to paler rosé.
So let’s put a light summer lunch on the table and take a closer look at this style, starting with a grenache and cinsault version from the world’s rosé capital, Southern France.
Step forward, please, the delicate and fresh 2015 Berry Bros & Rudd Provence Rosé (£12.95 at BBR) with its ambrosial cherry and raspberry fruit. Those flavours are nicely embellished by apple and tangerine acidity, hints of tropical fruit and an appealing contrast between sweeter spices and rhubarb-style dryness.
Further north, it is rosé from pinot noir that comes to the fore, as in the Loire Valley’s 2015 Menetou Salon Rosé Domaine de l’Ermitage (£12.95 at www.fromvineyardsdirect). This time the fruit is more strawberry than raspberry, but still delivers vibrant red cherry flavours albeit with hints of cloves and peony aromas beneath its mandarin and peach background.
France is not alone, however, in the quality rosé stakes, as a crisp and aromatic Rioja illustrates. 2015 Ramon Bilbao Rosado (£9.95 at Noel Young Wines) uses first run juice to create ripe plum and watermelon flavours that, delightfully, also have touches of sweetness to contrast with the wine’s herbal, savoury depth.
As a final surprise, take a look at the pastel colour and floral influences of 2015 Kayra Beyaz Kalecik Karasi Rosé (£12.39 at Strictly Wine) from Turkey. Here, the local soft and fresh kalecik karasi grape – from high and rocky vineyards – provides excellent strawberry and ripe melon fruit, pink grapefruit acidity, cinnamon edges and a mango-centred finish.
2013 The Society’s Sicilian Reserve Red
Italy, 13.5 per cent
Modern Sicilian winemakers are rapidly changing the face of that island’s everyday wine by creating this type of excellent, full and mellow (but surprisingly soft) red. Enjoy in particular its floral black cherry and loganberry fruit with firm tannin and gentle acidity supplemented by touches of chocolate, tobacco and savoury herbs.
£7.50 at The Wine Society
The 2014 Folie de Roi Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh
South West France, 13 per cent
This unfamiliar appellation is being swiftly propelled from the shadow of nearby Jurançon with brilliant, rich, textured (gros manseng-centred) whites like this. Red apple and quince fruit nicely support the acidic edge and hints of spicy tropical fruit that add complexity to its vaguely honey-centred depth.
£9.95 at www.corneyandbarrow.com
• For regular recommendations on good value wines go to www.midweekwines.co.uk